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Enology Certificate Course Topics

Wine Production

This course is an overview of the winemaking process for both red and white wines. It is taught by Jim Harbertson, WSU Enology Specialist and an internationally recognized Enologist. This course covers the entirety of still wine production from harvest decisions to the choice of enclosure at bottling. The differences between red and white winemaking will be discussed, and various techniques utilized in the industry will be outlined.

Lecture topics:

Lecture 1 – Intro/Overview of Winemaking: Harvest Decisions, Grape Ripening, Sampling, Sampling Practices;
Lecture 2 – Preparation of Musts and Juices: Crushing and Destemming, Must Handling, Must Additions and Pressing;
Lecture 3 – Primary Fermentation: Fermentation Biochemistry, Yeast Selection and Inoculation, Stuck Ferments;
Lecture 4 – Secondary Fermentation: Malolactic Fermentation, Wine Style and ML, Controlling ML;
Lecture 5 – Aging/Clarification and Bottling: Barrel Aging, Clarification Fining, Settling, Cold Stabilization, Filtering, Bottling, Blending, Intro to Sensory, Enclosures;
Lecture 6 – White Wine Making: Cool Fermentation, Protection from Oxidation, Minimization of Skin/Seed Contact, Enzyme Addition, Solids Removal, Fermentation, Barrel/Tank, Secondary Fermentation, Cold Stabilization, Examples;
Lecture 7 – Red Wine Making: Warm Fermentation, Mixing Techniques, Extraction Techniques, Oak and Oak Alternatives, Oxidation and Micro-Oxidation, Examples.


Wine Chemistry

Understanding the science of winemaking is of vital importance to producing quality wine. This course, taught by Jim Harbertson, is designed to give you an introduction to the chemical components that comprise red and white wines, their relevance to winemaking and how to quantify them. Chemical components that are relevant to monitoring fermentation and wine stability will also be covered, as well as those that have relevance to sensory properties.

Lecture topics:

Lecture 1 – Basic Chemistry Review: This section will review the basic chemistry and mathematics necessary for the winemaking lab;
Lecture 2 – Evaluation of Data: Understanding data analysis relevant to the wine and grape industry;
Lecture 3 – Sugars I: Importance of sugars in wine production;
Lecture 4 – Sugars II: Measuring sugars in winemaking;
Lecture 5 – Organic Acids I: Primary acids found in wine and their roles in the process and the final product;
Lecture 6 – Organic Acids II: Measuring titratable acidity (TA) and volatile acidity (VA), other organic acids, and pH;
Lecture 7 – Alcohols I: How alcohol is produced and the various effects it has on wine including pH, microbial stability, and sensory characteristics;
Lecture 8 – Alcohols II: Measuring alcohols in wine;
Lecture 9 – Nitrogen I: Introduction to the types and the importance of nitrogenous compounds in winemaking;
Lecture 10 – Nitrogen I: Measuring nitrogen containing compounds in the winemaking lab;
Lecture 11 – Sulfur Dioxide I: The importance of sulfur dioxide to wine and how pH affects the different forms of it in wine, and how it reacts with other wine components;
Lecture 12 – Sulfur Dioxide II: Methods available for measuring sulfur dioxide in wine and the advantages and disadvantages of each;
Lecture 13 – Phenolics I: The various classes of phenolics will be discussed and their importance in winemaking;
Lecture 14 – Phenolics II: Methods available for measuring phenolics in wine and the advantages and disadvantages of each;
Lecture 15 – Polyphenol Oxidase and Acetaldehyde: Importance of polyphenol oxidase (PPO) and acetaldehyde and how they can be indicators of wine faults;
Lecture 16 – Flavor Volatiles: Understanding flavor and aroma volatiles – the good, the bad and the ugly;
Lecture 17 – Inorganic Compounds: Discussion of the various inorganic components found in wine and their relative importance;
Lecture 18 – Potassium Bitartrate Stability: Discussion of potassium bitartrate (KHT) stability, factors influencing tartrate stability and how to measure.


Winery Equipment

This comprehensive course covers all the equipment used in the winemaking process for the large or small operation. Students will be introduced to fittings, tanks, cooperage, pumps, filters, processing equipment, refrigeration, bottling, and operational safety. Gordon Taylor, owner and winemaker of DavenLore Winery, also goes over the entire winemaking process.

Lecture topics:

Lecture 1 – Introduction to Winery Equipment
Lecture 2 – Winery Materials
Lecture 3 – Stemmers and Crushers
Lecture 4 – Pressers
Lecture 5 – Fermentors
Lecture 6 – Barrels
Lecture 7 – Pumps and Hoses
Lecture 8 – Filters
Lecture 9 – Bottling
Lecture 10 – Refrigeration
Lecture 11 – Electrical
Lecture 12 – Forklifts
Lecture 13 – Establishment of the Winery
Lecture 14 – Practical Sanitation of Equipment


Viticulture and Enology Interface

Grape production is essential to the crafting of a premium wine. This course, taught by Michelle Moyer, Viticulture Extension Specialist, covers grape production and plant physiology concepts as they affect berry and wine quality, and how grapevines are manipulated through production techniques in the vineyard to produce high quality grapes.

Lecture topics:

Lecture 1 – Introduction to Grape Production
Lecture 2 – Grape Anatomy and Biology for Production Quality
Lecture 3 – Grape Physiology for Production Quality
Lecture 4 – Grape Production Practices Part 1: Crop Load Management
Lecture 5 – Grape Production Practices Part 2: Canopy Management
Lecture 6 – Disease, Pests and Management Practices
Lecture 7 – Matchmaking: The Right Variety for the Site
Lecture 8 – Working with Your Viticulturist


Wine Microbiology

Taught by Dr. Charles Edwards, the Wine Microbiology module will review (a) basic wine microbiology including conditions that affect microbial growth and ecology during vinification, (b) characteristics of various wine microorganisms, and (c) identification and prevention of spoilage situations by recognition of danger signals.

Lecture topics:

Lecture 1 – Growth/Use of Media
Lecture 2 – Nutrients
Lecture 3 – Factors that influence growth/SO2
Lecture 4 – General taxonomy
Lecture 5 – Yeast
Lecture 6 – Bacteria
Lecture 7 – Ecology during Vinification
Lecture 8 – Danger signals/spoilage issues


Sensory Evaluation

The Sensory Evaluation course is taught by Dr. Carolyn Ross. In this course you will learn the criteria for sensory evaluation of wine using visual, olfactory, taste and mouthfeel. You will also learn how to conduct accurate wine evaluations and recognize the characteristics of wine faults.

Lecture topics:

Lecture 1
Lecture 2 – Visual perception
Lecture 3 – Olfactory perception
Lecture 4 – Taste and mouthfeel perception
Lecture 5 – Facility design, sensory errors, sample preparation
Lecture 6 – Quantitative wine assessment I: difference testing, consumer testing
Lecture 7 – Quantitative wine assessment II: trained panels, ranking data analysis, rating data analysis
Lecture 8 – Wine Faults


Winery Sanitation

This class covers the importance of sanitation on wine quality, including how sanitation promotes wine faults, how to detect wine faults, the spoilage organisms responsible, and how to avoid them.

Lecture topics:

Lecture 1 – Spoilage Organisms: Which microorganisms cause problems, how to recognize the problems, and how to avoid them;
Lecture 2 – Management Practices: Current Good Management Practices (cGMPs), Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), HACCP will be discussed; Lecture 3 – General Guidelines of Sanitation I: Guidelines will be given to promote sanitation in the winery;
Lecture 4 – Principles and Methods of Sanitation: How to implement and monitor the sanitation practices in the winery;
Lecture 5 – Sanitation of Equipment: Discussion of winery equipment and the parts of the winery that involve particular attention.


Economics of Wine Production

This course includes the basic economic and financial tools and statements that are needed to effectively develop and operate a winery. After completing this course you will have developed a winery business plan.

Lecture topics:

Lecture 1 – Functions of Management and Business plans
Lecture 2 – State of the Wine Industry

Lecture 3 – Vineyard/Winery Contracts
Lecture 4 – Basic Economics
Lecture 5 – Financial Statements and Financial Ratio Analysis

Lecture 6 – Time Value of Money

Lecture 7 – Economics Surrounding Premium Wine Production

Wine Marketing

This overview of the principles and fundamentals of marketing wine will help you understand the relationship between customers, brand and creating a marketing plan. The importance of determining who the customer(s) will be is addressed in the context of various distribution paradigms.

Lecture topics:

Lecture 1 –  Introduction to Marketing
Lecture 2 –  Brand Identity and Elements
Lecture 3 –  Marketing Mix


Compliance and Labeling

This course will introduce you to the world of compliance and the governing authorities involved. It will give students an overview of the licensing process for Alcohol Tax and Trade Bureau, Washington State Liquor Control Board, and city and county; including the basics on how to remain compliant. Product
Integrity will be covered from vine to bottle (Label Approval). Students will understand label requirements, how to get approval and how to remain compliant.

Lecture topics:

Lecture 1 – Compliance and Bonded Winery Overview
Lecture 2 – Licensing Application Process
Lecture 3 – Labeling Requirements
Lecture 4 – Label Approval Process